How To Brighten Up Your Yard On A Budget

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With winter in the rear-view mirror, your yard is probably looking a bit worse for wear. Plants and flowers are coming into bloom, and you may have plans to plant more, but what about the rest of your outdoor space? Now’s the time to brighten everything up with colors that delight the senses wherever you look. These projects are not only easy to pull off, but they’re fun and the kids can help, too.

Paint A Rainbow Of Pots


Standard clay pots are inexpensive and useful but can look sort of dull. Painting them in your favorite colors to complement or contrast with your flowers is a quick fix and adds a whole lot of oomph to your display of plants. The pots don’t even have to be empty; if you’re careful, you can paint pots that already have plants in them. If the pots are new, you don’t have to prep them at all. If they’ve been used before, just scrub them out and let them dry thoroughly before painting.

No special paint is required. Any kind you have at home will do, including any leftovers you may have from painting rooms or doing other projects. Alternatively, since each pot doesn’t take very much paint, you can buy a selection of small containers of a variety of shades for a few dollars each. Paint and home improvement stores sell sample sizes, and they’ll mix them to order just as if you were buying a whole gallon. Tiny 4-ounce bottles like those you’d typically find at a craft or hobby store, though, won’t be sufficient for more than one pot each at best, though they’d be useful to paint designs or the trim on several.

The only other supplies you need are one or two inexpensive bristle or foam paint brushes and some newspaper or other throwaway material to protect your working surface.

As for styling, it’s all up to you. You can use one color for a whole pot, use a different color for the rim, add freehand swirls or polka dots, or embellish with any design you come up with. If you need it, you’ll find plenty of inspiration on Pinterest.

Clay is porous, so the pots will absorb some of the first coat of paint. You may decide you like the look of that, or you can let the paint dry and then apply a second coat. Leave the inside of the pots paint-free, and don’t paint the bottoms, either. If you want, you can use a clear acrylic spray as a finish coat to add shine.

Perk Up Your Garden Furniture

Now that you’ve seen what a little paint can do, you’ll be itching to take on your garden furniture. Giving them a new life with color isn’t hard to do as long as you use the right process and paint for the material the furniture is made of.


  • Wooden furniture: If the piece has been painted before, sand or scrape off any loose chips and make sure the surface is smooth. If the wood is new or unfinished, it’s best to user a primer coat first unless you’re using a one-step product that combines primer and paint. Spray paint can be easier to use and gives a nice smooth finish, but it’s more efficient to use it on broad surfaces like tables and Adirondack chairs; a lot is wasted when you spray things like slender chair legs.
  • Metal furniture: Sand or scrape away any rust, using a rust-removal product if necessary, and then use paint that’s specifically designed for metal and contains a rust inhibitor.
  • Wicker and rattan furniture: Spray paint is the only product to use for wicker and rattan furniture with all of its intricate details. If the pieces haven’t been painted before, you could also consider using a spray stain rather than paint.
  • Plastic furniture: Even though it’s usually inexpensive, you don’t have to replace old plastic furniture. Spray paint made for plastic will restore dingy pieces in no time. Don’t bother using general purpose paint, though, because it won’t stick at all.

Give Your Lawn Some TLC

While you’re brightening up everything else, don’t forget about your lawn. Professional lawn services near me (and you) are the answer to saving the time and effort it takes to keep your landscape green and thriving as the perfect setting for your colorful pots and furniture. You can hire a service for specific tough jobs like aeration, or for regular routine maintenance that leaves you free to enjoy your time outdoors.

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Stacy Williams

Stacy Williams is a 37-year old wife to a USAF Gulf War Veteran, mother of two teen girls and fur-mamma to a rescued pit bull. The face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family, she also owns and manages Long Haul Wife, Republic Preparedness, The Genealogy Queen and a handful of others sites. By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome a drinking problem, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence, and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

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